When the spadix is compound or branching, as in palms, there are smaller spathes, surrounding separate parts of the inflorescence.
2), which is also dioecious, the small male flowers are borne in large numbers in shortstalked spathes; the petals are minute and scalelike, and only two of the three stamens are fertile; the flowers become detached before opening and rise to the surface, where the sepals expand and form a float bearing the two projecting semi-erect stamens.
Gamous flowers (that is, male, female and hermaphrodite), solitary, in slender, tubular spathes; the male flowers become detached and rise to the surface; the females are raised to the surface when mature, and receive the floating pollen from the male.
The membranous spathes have been cut and drawn aside, revealing the spike of fruit which bears the long silky styles.
A genus much represented is Culcasia, and swampy localities are thickly set with the giant Cyrtosperma arum, with flower spathes that are blotched with deep purple.